Filisia

Filisia

Creativity in Rehabilitation

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Last Update: May 19, 2014

Filisia creates accessible music and multimedia interfaces that support the rehabilitation process of people with disabilities.
Filisia interfaces are highly customizable. They enable musical creation while providing exercise motivation and contributing to the users’ sensory integration.

Founded: 2013 Type: for profit

The Problem

People facing musculoskeletal problems and cognitive challenges need to exercise regularly to improve their physical condition and cognitive and motor skills,but they get easily demotivated.They also cannot express themselves musically, as traditional instruments have inappropriate size, shape and learning curve. Yet, numerous neurologic rehabilitation studies show that active musical engagement has significant benefits to users’ therapy process

The Solution

Filisia creates interactive interfaces that motivate users’ rehabilitation, and enable their creative expression. Our systems are modular and support a wide range of interactions (improvise, memorise, arrange, orchestrate, turn-taking etc). They are highly customizable to the needs and abilities of each user, and employ increasing interaction complexity to sustain users’ engagement. The interfaces combine hardware and software, use microcontrollers and sensors and are cross platform. They engage and inform the users by providing haptic, auditory and optical feedback. We also collect data on users’ speed, width and smoothness of movement and report these to their therapists and parents, so they can track the evolution of users’ capacities.

Example

Actual examples from our testing sessions: A)Mariel, a 10 year old girl with cerebral palsy is content when she plays with our system. She tries to sing along with the music and has been asking her teacher when will she play again with it. Her occupational therapist noted that the interface supports her reaction to stimuli, her following of instructions, and that it could support her motor skills improvement.B)Niko, 68, who had a stroke, uses the interface to “conduct” music. On his first session with the interface, he stretched his arm far more than he had ever done in therapy. His occupational therapist realized that the interface is not only a great motivational tool, but also it allows her to evaluate the evolution of users’ abilities.

Impact

We have conducted qualitative studies in the form of research interviews, focus groups and participants observation. We have also evaluated our devices with 20 therapists (Physical, Occupational, Music Therapists and Special Education Needs experts), 2 rehabilitation centers and users with a variety of conditions. Therapists found that the devices foster (a) the sensory integration of the users, (b) reaction to stimuli, (c) following of instructions, (d) memory and orientation training, (e) coordination of movement and (f) they provide movement motivation to the users. Our system is equipped to provide quantitative proof of these benefits through embedded data collection. We expect that our devices will be used by 50.000 users with moderate to severe cases of Cerebral Palsy, Autistic Spectrum Disorder, Stroke, Down syndrome, Spinal Cord Injury and Muscular Dystrophy within five years.

Full Impact Potential

Filisia systems are very versatile with a high potential of personalised rehabilitation processes. We will incentivise our clients to share creative uses of our system, via our website and testimonials. Therefore users will be able to co-create a wider range of interactions for different disabilities and severity levels. Our initial segment is in Europe and through international strategic partnerships with care centers, we aim to reach therapists and home-users in the U.S, Canada and Australia. We will further reach to our customers via inbound marketing, fairs, trades and specialized web pres

Budget: $100,000 - $250,000

Financial Sources

Individuals, Foundations, Clients

Sustainability Plan

Our main stream comes from selling Filisia interfaces.Secondary streams come from selling add-ons (hardware extensions, interaction methods). The selling price will be 500€ and production costs ~150€. Our expenses for the 1st year of operations are ~200.000€ and we will secure it through grants and seed funding.Our feasibility study indicates a high growth business that will break-even on its 1st year and invest in R&D for its long term viability

Marketplace

There are a few companies internationally (Skoog, Beamz and Soundbeam) that create musical interfaces for people with disabilities. Yet none of these companies focuses on providing exercise incentives for their like we do. What makes Filisia stand out is that our devices are modular, highly customizable and address the specific rehabilitation needs of our users. Moreover, unlike other companies, we offer reports to the therapists and parents, so they can monitor the evolution of the (gross and fine) motor skills and cognitive capacities of the users.

Founding Story

For years, I worked as designer of interactive systems for exhibitions and the performing arts. In 2009, I invited people with disabilities to an exhibition of interactive sound installations that my team and I organised. I was surprised of how responsive they were when playing with the installations, so I got interested on how I can create more accessible interactive solutions for them. Last year, I watched a video on the neurological effects of active musical engagement and how it achieves unique results in the reorganisation of the brain after acquired conditions. It was then that I realised the potential of using my R&D skills to make significant difference to the lives of people with disabilities, and started forming the Filisia team.

Team Explanation

Founder of Filisia is Georgios Papadakis. Full time members are designer Ifigeneia Dilaveraki, accountant Eirini Malliaraki and electronics engineer Pavlos Panagiotis. The founding team has skills in management, interactive systems R&D, sound design, and electronic engineering. We also collaborate with a graphics designer, a musician, a mechanical engineer,a developer and many therapists on a part time basis for the development of our interfaces.

Connections:

Challenges

Destination: Change. New Solutions for Greece

Supplemental

Partnerships: Tell us about your partnerships.

For the past 9 months we have established two main research partnerships: with the National Rehabilitation Center and Athens Center for Cerebral Palsy. We test our devices with users who have stroke/acquired disabilities and cerebral palsy respectively and get feedback from their families and therapists. Users engaged with the instruments for
extended time, the interaction was intuitive (we gave very minimal instructions to users) and we observed users developing skills throughout the course of sessions. Therapists of the center (physical therapists, occupational therapists and a music therapist) have been giving us very constructive feedback throughout the product development, and have been enthusiastic for our latest prototype versions.

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